Dr. Thomas is an Arkansas-based college professor, social worker, and Moms Demand Action volunteer with expertise in gun violence prevention and safe firearm storage.

396: Keep Your Kids Safe From Gun Violence  

Dr. Johanna Thomas

Gun violence recently surpassed car accidents as the leading cause of death for American children. This is the reality, so how do we American parents keep our kids safe from guns? It turns out there are some very simple questions we should be asking our kid’s friends’ parents: Do you have a gun in your home or car? How is it secured?

Keep Your Kids Safe From Gun Violence - Dr. Johanna Thomas [396]

Read the Transcript 🡮

*This is an auto-generated transcript*

[00:00:00] Dr. Johanna Thomas: You know, it is the number one killer of children in our country. 90% of all gun deaths amongst children happen in the United States for industrialized nations. We have 130 on average, unintentional child shootings a year. 15,000 injuries for children zero to 19. It's truly an epidemic for our children in our nation.

[00:00:25] Hunter: You are listening to the Mindful Mama Podcast, episode number 396. Today we're talking about keeping your kids safe from gun violence with Dr. Joanna Thomas.

Welcome to the Mindful Mama podcast. Here it's about becoming a less irritable, more joyful parent. At Mindful Mama, we know that you cannot give what you do not have. And when you have calm and peace within, then you can give it to your children. I'm your host, hunter Clark Fields. I help smart, thoughtful parents stay calm so they can have strong, connected relationships with their children.

I've been practicing mindfulness for over 20. I'm the creator of Mindful Parenting, and I'm the author of the best selling book, raising Good Humans, A Mindful Guide to Breaking the Cycle of Reactive Parenting and raising Kind Confident Kids.

Welcome back to the Mindful Mama Podcast, my friend. So glad you're here. Listen, I hope you are subscribed, and I hope you've gone over to Apple Podcasts and left a rating interview at some point. It just helps the podcast grow more. I hugely appreciate it. So thank you so much for everyone who's done. So today we have a very important convers.

You know, gun violence in the United States. It recently surpassed car accidents as the leading cause of death for American children. This is our reality. We have to face it. It as horrible as it is. So we're gonna have a conversation today about how do we, American parents, keep our kids safe from guns?

And it turns out there are some very simple questions. We should be asking our kids friends and things like that. So in just a moment we'll be sitting down with. Dr. Joanna Thomas. She's a Mom's Demand Action volunteer, a college professor and a licensed clinical social worker in the state of Arkansas.

She has been educating individuals, agencies, communities, and social workers on gun violence prevention through the Be Smart for Kids Program for over five years. Dr. Thomas is also a gun owner and a. So she conducts really meaningful, authentic, non-judgmental, secure firearms storage conversations with gun owners and community members across the country.

So this is going to be a very powerful, very practical, very important conversation. I know you're gonna want to share it with your friends. It's really, really valuable. So join me at the table as I talk to Dr. Joanna Thomas.

Well, Joanna, thank you for coming out on the Mindful Mama podcast. Thank you for having me. I've been so, as a parent, so frustrated with the gun violence in the United States. I love Mom's Demand Action, and I was like, ah, it could hurt to me. That's. I could bring someone on the podcast to talk about this issue, and so I'm so happy you can come on because it kills me.

Like it really, I just feel it. So in my gut, like that gun violence recently surpassed car accidents. As the leading cause of death for American children like that happened very recently. Can we just talk a little bit about the extent of the problem that that's happened here and maybe has it grown in recent years?

Cuz it's, it just hurts me. This whole thing. It's killing me. But anyway, tell, tell me about the extent of what's

[00:03:55] Dr. Johanna Thomas: happening. So the gun violence epidemic, um, has been growing. Um, and this is directly tied to easy access to firearms and the number of firearms. Um, in the country, approximately 4.6 million children live in a home with at least one loaded unsecured firearm.

Um, so that's, you know, that's one of our problems. Um, as you know, it is the number one, um, killer of children in our country. 90% of all gun deaths amongst children happen in the United States for industrialized nation. And so you know, it's, we have 130 on average, unintentional child shootings a year.

15,000 injuries for children, zero to 19. It's truly an epidemic for our children and our nation.

[00:04:39] Hunter: Now I come from a background where this is so like I don't understand it. I grew up in a super lefty liberal family in Rhode Island. You know, everyone in Rhode Island is a Democrat. Like there's barely any hunting culture there.

Like people are just more out to like get a good grinder, coffee milk, then go hunting. So I find it really hard to understand. I find it really under hard to understand this culture, and I'm just wondering if you, you, I know you are a gun owner and a parent, you're, you're working in Arkansas. Is your background different for helping you maybe understand this?

Do you have a more personal understanding of this gun culture in the

[00:05:23] Dr. Johanna Thomas: United States? I think I do. I mean, I grew up in Ohio. I mean, I was, it was an urban place, but um, you know, we had firearms. Um, we had a lot of firearms. Um, they were always locked up, I guess as a kid, I just assumed everyone had their firearms locked up.

Um, you know, they were in a cabinet in the basement. We knew they were there, but nobody touched 'em. Nobody could get into that safe. But we went hunting. Um, I learned to shoot on a bow and arrow. I learned, you know, on a long range gun very early. I think my first hunting expedition, I was like seven. So I learned very early how to handle a firearm.

But I was never in a position where I handled one without adult supervision. I mean, that was just, How we did it in our household. I grew up with two brothers that hunt. They still hunt. Um, and so firearms were very familiar with me. Um, I would have to say though, that we didn't own handguns. And so that was an area that I had to learn and grow in, um, because we really did use our firearms for food and for.

Sport and hunting. And so it wasn't for home protection. It wasn't for some of the other reasons that some, you know, gun owners will own a, a firearm. We didn't have those same reasons. And so coming to Arkansas was a bit of a culture shock as far as, you know, seeing open firearms, seeing people, carrying them openly.

I wasn't prepared for some of that gun culture, and so it was something that I really had to, to unfortunately get used to as far as. In a state that is very protective of its firearms. We are 49th in the country for gun laws, and that is not a good thing. You know, we probably have one gun law. You can't have guns in the stadiums and you can't have guns in the, uh, state capitol.

But isn't

[00:07:07] Hunter: it, it's like crazy though. It's like easier to get a gun than it is to probably adopt a dog. I bet. Like there, there's something, I mean, do we have to go through a lot of steps? Sometimes they come to your house when you adopt a dog, see what the situation.

[00:07:21] Dr. Johanna Thomas: It's very, it's very different here. It is a, um, it's a different culture.

It is very easy if you're a law abiding citizen to walk into a, you know, a firearm store and, and buy a firearm. Um, you know, there are loopholes that we've been trying to address for a long time. I can, I can sell my firearm in the parking lot if I'd like to. And transfer that ownership without a background check.

And so that is something that mom's demand is steadily working on because you know, if you do, if you're a law abiding citizen and you walk into a gun shop, you can leave the same day with it. If you are not, you can buy it in a parking lot and leave that same hour with it. So you know, there are, um, There are ways around the laws that we have in place, and that's unfortunate.

[00:08:02] Hunter: So how did you become involved personally with, uh, gun violence prevention? Yeah,

[00:08:07] Dr. Johanna Thomas: I think like most of the country, Sandy Hook was a turning point for me. You know, I was pregnant with my second child and it was devastating. And so at that time I thought, I have two young kids. This is terrible. But do I really have time for this?

And so it took me a while to really stick my feet in. It was in, um, 20 15, 20 17, somewhere around there that the Arkansas legislature decided that it was going to allow guns on campuses. And so for me personally as a professor, that was. That was something that hit hard. My students with mental health issues, my students with not fully functioning, um, frontal lobe capacity, were going to be carrying firearms in their book bags and under their coats.

And, you know, they don't have to be holstered, um, in the dorms. They don't have to be safely put away, securely put away. So these were, this was a very scary moment for me and that's when I realized that I needed to find a way to advocate for myself and my students and, you know, campus families. Just figure out how to, how to join the gun Violence prevention movement.

[00:09:16] Hunter: I feel so frustrated about this whole thing cuz I've been part of this movement. I've been at rallies, I've been holding signs my kids up too. And just like with Sandy Hook, I just feel like that was this moment when nothing changed after that. That it was like this moment when we just decided it was okay to like, we could bear this, right?

Like we could bear the thought of all these kids being killed. And that was, that was okay. And it just really, um, it's just like, So hard, obviously, and very emotional for me, obviously to, to think about that. I mean, have we had any movement since then that has been, uh, towards more prevention and, and regulation and pro prevention of

[00:09:59] Dr. Johanna Thomas: g violence?

I think this is what is really hard for the public to understand rights, though. Gun violence prevention is a multi-pronged issue. It's going to take, you know, every, every angle you can imagine to. Address this issue. People often say nothing changed after Sandy Hook. And I like to say everything changed after Sandy Hook.

I do believe that was the impetus for the current gun violence prevention movement that we're seeing. Um, you know, we just had the, the strongest bipartisan gun law bill passed, um, in in more than a decade. Um, you know, we are starting to move the needle politically. More politicians are aligning with, you know, we don't need these certain laws or we need.

Um, red, you know, red. Laws or we need, um, to close the boyfriend loopholes for domestic violence or, you know, there's a lot that we can agree upon. And so I do believe that the, that the needle is finally moving. And I do believe that more of the public is finding this unacceptable gun owners, non-gun owners, parents, not parents.

I don't believe that most of us feel that our children's lives should be the price we pay in this country to have lawful gun owner. And so I do think that we're seeing more people join the. And really join in on, on common sense gun laws that will keep all of us safe. You know, it's at least something that we're talking about where I don't believe this was a conversation that many of us were happening, you know, having before we would say, that's unfortunate or that's too bad.

Or you know, we used to say, well, they just went postal, or whatever that term might be, and now we. A way to talk about it. A way to talk about common sense gun laws, a way to talk to each other about gun violence that just wasn't there before. Sandy hug.

[00:11:52] Hunter: Stay tuned for more Mindful Mama podcasts right after this break.

That's reassuring for me a little bit, but it's hard, you know, like when it happens in a school, you're like, what am I supposed to do? Not cuz you know, I contemplated maybe I'm gonna pull my kids outta school and homeschool them because then they will not be a target for a sad, angry white man. Right, like the, because those who are who the shooters are, but then there are all these other places where kids are getting hurt from gun violence too.

Like I guess statistically it's those moments that are the most heartbreaking and they make the news and things like that. But I imagine statistically a kid's more likely to be hurt in an individual home in an accident. How does that work out?

[00:12:42] Dr. Johanna Thomas: Absolutely. I mean, you know, schools are still some of the safest places that our children go for many children.

Um, and we have to remember that as a society there's a way to make it safer and we can talk about that. But, you know, nowhere is safe currently. I mean, we're watching people be shot in church and at the grocery store and in parking lots. And so statistically speaking, most unintentional shootings are happening in the home or in the home of a.

This is where suicides are taking place with firearms. Just like for any other accident, your home is very dangerous. You know, we have a pool, we have four dogs, we have two firearms. Like there's a lot of unsafe stings in our home if we don't use them correctly. Um, and like I said before, you know, 4.6 million children live in one of these households.

78% of school shooters will have gotten their gun from their own home or the home of a friend or a relative. And so when you start thinking about that and what we can do to change the conversation and to keep our kids safe, that's huge. That's huge. And I think we're missing some of the small steps and small conversations that we can have that will immediately make our children safer.

Okay, so

[00:13:57] Hunter: let's talk about that. What are the most important things we can do to protect our

[00:14:01] Dr. Johanna Thomas: kids from gun violence? Ask about guns in other people's homes and cars, you know, and making sure that if we have firearms, we've securely stored them. And cars, and I can talk about that in a minute because these weren't questions that I've always asked, and it was something that I learned about with moms, but securing our own firearm.

Is basic, you know, your gun should be locked, unloaded with the ammunition stored separately. Not every gun owner will get on board with that, so there's harm reduction that we do in that instance. But, um, I always ask other families, now, do you have firearms? And how do you keep them stored? Because, you know, even if you believe your child will never touch a gun, children who have had a one week safety training compared to children who have had no safety training are just as likely to touch a firearm when unsupervised.

And so, you know, we were a mom too. How many times have we told our kids, don't touch the cell phone, don't touch the. Don't touch this. I mean, and what do they do? It's like, they're like, oh, I'm gonna touch that. Um, and so it really is, you can't, this, the onus of keeping kids safe is always on the adult. We can't expect kids not to get in the pool when we're not looking or not to, you know, run out the front door just the same as we can't expect them not to touch a firearm.

[00:15:16] Hunter: This is so fascinating for me because like I said, from my like lefty liberal Rhode Island background, I would never even like imagine, I can't imagine a gun being in anyone. I know's house, but it probably there is, you know, I, I live in the Mid-Atlantic probably happening. There are definitely people who hunt and.

At this point, I probably missed that, that boat, but I think this is like an incredibly valuable thing. Like do you have a gun in your home? How is your gun secured? Right? Like, we, we wanna ask that question. I mean, we were talking about this in my, um, in our podcasts meeting earlier, and one of the members of Mindful Mama mentor was like, well, I would feel so awkward asking that.

You know? And it's like, well, it's awkward, but isn't this probably the most important question you can ask? I. How do we go about approaching

[00:16:06] Dr. Johanna Thomas: it? Yeah. So, um, this is always interesting. I remember the first time I asked about a firearm cuz I thought, gosh, nobody wants to be asked this. This is gonna be terrible.

And my child was at an event and she wanted to go home with another mom, um, and her friend. And so I re remember working up the nerve. So I walked over to her and I said, do you have any firearms in your home? And at the time, I just asked about her home and she said, no, if I have one in the car. She was like, I keep it under the seat, you know, because I work construction and I have to go to these construction sites.

And so, yeah, no, it's in my car. And I was like, oh, now what? So I said, well, you know, I'm gonna drive my own child. You know, she can come over, but I think I'm gonna drive her because I just am not comfortable with a gun in the. And she said, okay. And I said, can we make a safety plan for when we get to your house of how you're gonna secure your firearm while my child is there?

And she said, oh, absolutely. I can, you know, take it in the house and put it in the safe. Um, because again, kids get in cars and they play in cars and they shouldn't, but they do. Um, and so we worked on a safety plan together to make sure that that firearm was secured, but I. I was surprised at how much information she gave me because I think at the end of the day, gun owners want to be safe and they think they're being safe, um, by hiding a gun or storing a gun in a place they think a child can't race or won't touch, um, when in fact it's not safe.

You know, there are car safes where you can have access to your firearm in three seconds. And so it was a good learning opportunity for both of us to talk about this.

[00:17:37] Hunter: Okay? And so for people who don't know, we should be looking for a locked safe and the ammunition stored separately. That's what we're really looking for,

[00:17:47] Dr. Johanna Thomas: right?

Yes. That's what we're really looking for. I mean, that's what I tell people. That's like the gold standard of securing your firearm. Some gun owners aren't comfortable with that. They want to be able to access their, their loaded firearm. Um, so I take a harm reduction approach. Um, you know, I wanna make sure it's in a safe that my child can't get into.

You know, that it's, there's ways to do it where it's fingerprint or where it's a code and not just a cable lock. You know, it also depends on the age of your child, um, and how, you know, savvy they are. So, I, that's my standard. Um, I wanna make sure that it's not in a nightstand, that it's not on top of a fridge, that it's not high in a cabinet, because that doesn't prevent a child from reaching those things.

And what I've found is that the vast majority of people are quick to tell you that they have a firearm and how it's stored. I, myself have started putting it, you know, a lot of times kids, you meet the mom or you, so I, we exchange numbers and so my text is automatically, we have four dogs. They're kids safe.

We have a pool, we have an alarm on it. Our doors are alarmed. So we know if a kid walks in or. All screen time is supervised, alcohol is locked up, firearms are in a safe, here's how we store them. Does your child have any allergies or anything that I need to know about their safety while they're in my home?

And so I automatically put myself out there so that there's an expectation that if my child is coming to your home, you're gonna give me that same information.

[00:19:12] Hunter: Yeah. Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. So we should be having this conversation. Dear listener, you gotta start having this conversation. This is like the sex talk.

These are the things telling your kids that you know, people aren't not allowed to touch you around your private parts, where your bathing suit is, and asking the kids', friends', families, about their guns. These are probably the two, uh, number one things you could ever, ever do for your kid's. So it's awkward.

It's not fun, but just bite. Do it. Bite the bullet.

[00:19:42] Dr. Johanna Thomas: Boy, I mean, it's imperative to their health. I mean, kids are so impulsive and I, I think we forget that as parents. We hope they'll do the right thing every time, but we also know that's probably not gonna happen every time. And so as much as you talk with your child about not touching something, gene says, are they're going to.

So it really. You know, we can prevent gun violence immediately just by asking a question.

[00:20:07] Hunter: Okay, awesome. And then we wanna talk to our kids about guns, right? Like we want them to know that this is a safety hazard in their life, but we don't wanna scare the pants off of them. What is the right age to start talking to our kids about

[00:20:20] Dr. Johanna Thomas: gun violence?

You know, this is a really hard question to answer only because you wanna make sure that you're talking at a, at an age appropriate level, just like you would about nobody touches your private parts. You know you're gonna wanna use words and phrases that they understand. But I think it's also important for your listeners to understand that children as young as two can pull the trigger on a firearm.

And so that, that talk has to come very young because they do, they see it on tv. You may own firearms, so as early as, as you can, we, you know, I never allowed like gun play with, with toy guns. Now I couldn't prevent them using their fingers or building one out of something or you know, kids are kind of ingenious in that way.

But we had a lot of talks from a very young age. What do you do if you, if you find a firearm? And I remember asking my child, which scared the pants off of me, I showed her some firearms from the internet because a lot of parents don't understand, not every firearm is black and looks like the ones in the movies, they now put what they call skins or stickers on them.

And so they have Hello Kitty and Tiffany Blue and Pretty Pink, and they look like Nerf guns. And so I asked my nine year old at the time, I said, what would you do if you found one of these? And she said, oh, I'd pick it up to see if it's. And that was when I, I mean, my heart shattered because that's not the answer.

And so we immediately had to have the conversation that regardless if you think it's real or fake, you have to find an adult and you have to find them immediately. And so I realized I probably should have been having that conversation at four and five when they're going to school and when a child has another chance to bring their unsecured firearm to.

I mean, that's

[00:22:06] Hunter: just horrifying that kids could bring an unsecured firearm to school. Is that ha I mean, how often is that happening?

[00:22:13] Dr. Johanna Thomas: We just had a giant news story about it, where the, where the young boy, um, shot his, his teacher. It was a terrible tragedy, but it was an unsecured firearm in his home. So it, it happens far more than, than we want to believe.

Um, or that you. Gunfire on school grounds happens. Not every gunfire, you know, is it on school grounds, is a mass shooting. Sometimes it's a child who just brings their, you know, their unsecured firearm to school that their parents or their family member owns. And so just like I said, like just asking the secure storage question and securing our firearms means that we can reduce gun violence for our children.


[00:22:57] Hunter: Stay tuned for more Mindful Mama podcasts right after this break

cuz these are very much as well, like crimes of opportunity, right? I mean, there are people with mental health problems all around the world and this is really only happening here in the United States where we have this incredible opportunity,

[00:23:18] Dr. Johanna Thomas: right? So we, I mean, mental health problems are equivalent across the globe.

We are the only country in the world with unfettered access to firearms. Um, and so it, it makes the problem exponentially worse whether we're talking about. Homicides, assaults, um, suicide, you know, it increases the risk for all forms of gun violence, not just mass shootings.

[00:23:42] Hunter: So, going back to our kids and us having these conversations with the adults that are kids are around, what do you, what do we do when our own requirements for safe storage don't align with the parents of our, of our kids'?

[00:23:58] Dr. Johanna Thomas: Yeah, so this recently happened to me. Um, I think it was the first time I really had to address it, you know, with a fellow, um, gun owner. They were quick to say they had their firearms in their nightstands and they used them for home protection and their kids knew not to touch them and they don't store them.

You know, they don't secure them in the same way. Um, and so I said, you know, I think it would be better if our kids met at the barn or, you know, your child's welcome to come to my home. Or we could meet at a park, but, um, you know, I'm really not comfortable sending our children over there because we just have, you know, different standards.

And they were like, okay. And they were fine with that response. I'll continue to have the conversation with them in, in the hopes of moving that needle. But I will tell you that of all of the times that I've asked, that's the only time that has ever happened to me where we just couldn't come to a consensus.

Unsecure storage. So when I say 99.9% of people want to do the right thing, I really mean it. I mean, I really haven't had that, and I'm living in one of the reddest most gun owning, gun loving states in the entire country. So if I can have that conversation and find a way out of it, I think anybody can.


[00:25:06] Hunter: All right, cool. Um, all right, so we need to be doing these things. We need to be asking these questions. Let's talk about schools and some of the work that moms demand Action. What some of the things that you're fighting for. So, you know, you said schools are still some of the safest place that kids can be, but, but still the, these shootings are happening.

Mass shootings are happening around the country at an insane. What are some of the things that we should, we should be advocating for or how we can get involved in looking at what's happening maybe

[00:25:38] Dr. Johanna Thomas: in our own state? Right. So one of the, the newest things that we've been working on really is trying to get secure firearm storage messaging home to parents.

And so I think there are 8 million children now that live in a district, including Little Rock, uh, where secure firearm storage information is sent home to parents. And so they're getting this just like they would, you know, information about free and reduced lunch and information about parent-teacher conferences.

And so it comes home to them. It's, it's on our websites, it's. So you wanna be asking your PTOs, you wanna be asking your schools if they can implement anything that would, you know, allow for them to send that messaging home to families. Because the more we talk about it, the more we destigmatize it, the safer our kids are gonna be.

So oftentimes we wanna talk about doors and gates and fences and you know, those are all things that are good if they're done right. But if we can secure firearms, we can, you know, it changes the conversation. It changes what can happen. And it, you know, it, it makes an even ground. So I think that that is probably the number one thing we need to, that we need to work on, is really getting that messaging out to families and communities.

You know, I

[00:26:52] Hunter: think that's effective. I think, you know, I drive to, into Philadelphia, live outside of Philadelphia, and I think I saw a billboard that said like, are you asking whether your firearms are. I think that may have been what catalysts me to call you up and, and have this whole conversation. So, and I love this idea because it's kind of like going, you know, I truly believe that like what happens in the micro level goes out to what happens in the macro level, right?

Like if this. You know, similarly with Parenting, as we start to shift and change things to, to having, you know, changing things from using power and threats to other conversations and other means, these things start to trickle out into the larger culture. If we can start to have a conversation that about, like, these are, you know, this is not a free for all, these are dangerous.

You know, this is one of the most dangerous things in our culture that we need to really have a conversations about, constantly, about whether they're secured, that could probably trickle out into larger conversations about how we can increase gun safety in this country. Right.

[00:27:56] Dr. Johanna Thomas: And I think it's, it's, you know, we think about how we change the culture around drunk driving, how we change the culture around, um, safe sex, how we change the.

It all started by meeting people where they are and de-stigmatizing the conversation and kind of embedding it into our culture. And I think that this is the same way to do that. Meeting people where they are, understanding why they're scared. You know, I found, you know, as a social worker, In, in kind of in this arena, people are scared to lose their children and they're scared to lose their firearms and they wanna know how to keep both.

And so this has been very impactful for meeting people where they are. And I've had so many comments about, wow, this is so easy. This is such an easy thing I can do, and you know, I'm already doing this, or how can I do this better? I had, you know, a lady stand up one time when I was giving a presentation and she said, I have to go, I have to go right now.

And I was like, okay, are you okay? And she goes, I've never asked. My daycare provider, my in-home daycare provider if she has a firearm in her home. So, you know, just educating people on how dangerous they are. Just like we've done for so many other dangers. Um, you know, including now, we tell our kids, don't experiment with drugs.

Don't take any pills, don't leave your drink unattended. It's all the same thing, just a little bit different conversation. And it's taking the stigma, taking the taboo out of gun owner.

[00:29:19] Hunter: Where do you see the places where gun owners and people who really want to regulate gun ownership, where do you see the places where they can meet in agreement in the United States?

Because it seems sometimes like those places are sort of few and far in between.

[00:29:37] Dr. Johanna Thomas: You know, I think what we found is most responsible gun owners will tell you they want universal background checks. So they don't want loopholes. They want people who are responsible to have. This conversation around be smart and keeping children safe is such a good bonding point for just about everybody.

I think that as a society, we want children to, you know, grow up healthy, happy to be able to develop in safe spaces that we want this for our children, grandchildren, or. And it's such an easy way to do it that this conversation seems to go over the best with people. That this is a place where we can meet kind of in the middle and, and you know, we, we argue about bigger policies and bigger issues, but when it comes down to it, I think all of us want kids to be safe.



[00:30:30] Hunter: I couldn't agree more. I think this is so, so, so, so important. Well, um, Joanna, is there anything that we missed that we should be talking about, um, in keeping kids safe from

[00:30:43] Dr. Johanna Thomas: gun violence? No, I think that it's important for your viewers to go out and check out the Be Smart website, and I can get that website to you.

But, um, be smart means securing your firearms in your home, in your vehicle. Modeling responsible behavior around guns. Asking about guns in your home, in your car. Recognizing the role of guns in suicide and then telling your peers to be smart. So it is such an easy message. They have so many examples of text messages and ways that you can ask how to become a presenter, how to talk about these issues with your school board and your P T O, and it's such a great resource.

So I think just starting there, it's such a small step, but in the grand scheme of things, if we can save one child from death by a gun, we, we've done our. But if each one of us does that, that's a lot of kids. Yeah.

[00:31:35] Hunter: Yeah. So, dear listener, let's, let's take some action. Let's start to ask these questions.

Let's maybe talk to our PTOs about this. And I love the idea of materials that are ready to go to, to share with other people, because if we can gather around this, you know, we, we can, we can, you know, and we can have these, these awkward conversations and it sounds like there will be a lot of people who will be receptive.

Joanna, thank you so much, um, for taking the time to come on the Mindful Mama podcast and talk about this. Um, I'm so glad that we're able to take this time to, to share this incredibly important message. I'm gonna start asking people now for my kids. Yeah. Excellent. That's great.

I am so glad the conversation with Dr. Thomas was so practical and action oriented because it's such a scary, frightening topic. We just wanna close our eyes and hide our head in the sand that that doesn't work in the United States. I mean, for everyone who's listen. From the other places around the world.

I, uh, you know, I just hope you have a lot of sympathy for this is what we go through here. It's so frustrating and challenging and it's so hard to change, but it's our reality, right? So we have to face it. So I'm so glad this conversation was really practical. I hope that you appreciated that too. The practicality of this conversation.

I think that we should definitely be asking these questions. You know, do you have a gun in your home or your. How is it secured? Right? We need to ask these questions. I will be asking these questions too. Yeah. Just has to happen. Whew. I know, I know, dear friend. It's, it's like, ugh, the things we have to face and deal with.

Thank you so much for listening. I hope you share this episode around for everybody who needs it. It's so, so important. And if you do so, tag me at Mindful Mama mentor, and um, and I'm wishing you a great week. Thank you. Thank you so much for listening. Thank you for. Part of the, the solutions to these. And um, I wish you some calm and ease and all those good things this week, so take care of my friend.

Talk to you soon.

[00:34:03] Dr. Johanna Thomas: I'd say definitely do it. It's really helpful. It will

[00:34:06] Hunter: change your relationship with

[00:34:07] Dr. Johanna Thomas: your kids for the better. It will help you communicate better and just, I'd say communicate better as a person, as a wife, as a spouse, it's been really a positive influence in our lives. So definitely do it. I'd say definitely do it.

It's so worth it. The money really is inconsequential when you get so much benefit from being a better parent to your children and feeling like. Acting more with them and not feeling like you yelling all the time, or you're like, why isn't things working? I would say definitely into it. It's so, so worth it.

It'll change you no matter what age someone's child is. It's a great opportunity for personal growth and it's great investment in someone's family. I'm very thankful I have this. You can continue in your old habits that aren't working or you can learn some new tools and gain some perspective to.

Everything in your Parenting,

[00:35:07] Hunter: are you frustrated by Parenting? Do you listen to the experts and try all the tips and strategies, but you're just not seeing the results that you want? Or are you lost as to where to start? Does it all seem so overwhelming with too much to learn? Are you yearning for community of people who get it, who also don't want to threaten and punish to create cooperation?

Hi, I'm Hunter Clark Fields, and if you answered yes to any of these questions, I want you to seriously consider the Mindful Parenting membership. You'll be joining hundreds of members who have discovered the path of Mindful Parenting and now have confidence and clarity in. This isn't just another Parenting class.

This is an opportunity to really discover your unique lasting relationship, not only with your children, but with yourself. It will translate into lasting connected relationships, not only with your children, but your partner too. Let me change your life. Go to Mindful Parenting course.com to add your name to the wait list, so you will be the first to be notified when I open the membership.

I look forward to seeing you on the inside, Mindful Parenting course.com.

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